Former Massachusetts governor and possible 2020 candidate Deval Patrick said on Sunday that the country needs somebody to do the job of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also referred to as ICE.
"We need somebody to do the job of ICE. Whether we keep it as the name of ICE or give that assignment to some other agency with a different name is not as important to me," Patrick told CNN anchor Jake Tapper.
Tapper asked Patrick if he agrees with a growing number of Democrats who are calling for ICE to be abolished.
"Do you support the abolishment of ICE?" Tapper asked.
"First of all, I think what the president says is little silly exaggeration, I guess that happens in politics from time to time. I think we clearly need — we clearly need secure borders, there's not a single Democrat I know or have heard about who talks about –," Patrick responded.
"There are democrats calling for the abolishment and replacement of ICE though," Tapper interrupted.
"We clearly need some alternative to the policies in ICE whether you call it ICE or something else, the sadistic policies and practices of ICE today have got to go," Patrick said.
The former governor continued to slam Trump's immigration policies, especially pertaining to family separation. He added that it doesn't matter what the name of the agency is, but what the policies are in place.
"I think the name of the agency is less important than getting the policies right, and what we have today are the wrong policies and wrong practices," he said.
There is a growing movement among liberals and progressives to abolish ICE. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Kristen Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) called for ICE to be abolished. Cynthia Nixon, who is challenging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary, called ICE a "terrorist organization" and said it should be abolished. Other progressive candidates and activists have adopted the call as part of their platform amid the Trump administration's controversial zero tolerance policy on illegal immigration. Rep. Mark Pocan (D., Wis.) introduced legislation which would abolish the agency. Other Democratic senators like Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) have indicated an openness to abolishing ICE and starting from scratch, but they have been hesitant to fully embrace the idea.
A Washington Free Beacon analysis detailed what abolishing ICE would look like for the country and enforcing immigration laws.